The Lynchburg Hillcats announced that the Atlanta Braves have named shortstop Nick Ahmed the Lynchburg Player of the Year and righthanded pitcher Gus Schlosser the Lynchburg Pitcher of the Year for 2012. The Braves also honored pitcher J.R. Graham, who split the season between Advanced-A Lynchburg and Double-A Mississippi, as the Organizational Pitcher of the Year.
All three, along with the rest of the organizational award recipients, will be honored at Turner Field in Atlanta Saturday, September 15. Atlanta Braves General Manager Frank Wren will be there to present the awards prior to the Braves game against the Washington Nationals at 4:05.
Ahmed racked up the accolades this season. He was a mid-season and year-end Carolina League All-Star, his coaches picked him as co-MVP with first baseman Chris Garcia, and he was also voted as the Hillcats' Most Popular Player by the Lynchburg fans. He capped his Player of the Year season with a 4-for-5 effort in the Mills Cup Championship clinching game. The East Longmeadow, MA native collected three doubles, an RBI, and a run scored, and was honored as the Series MVP after the win. He hit .357 in seven postseason games.
Schlosser stockpiled his share of honors this year as well. He was a year-end All-Star, and was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year. Like Ahmed, he played an integral role in the Hillcats' Mills Cup Championship run. He went 2-0 in two postseason starts, throwing 15 scoreless innings while striking out 13 batters.
Graham was promoted to Double-A Mississippi July 17 after posting a 2.63 ERA in 17 starts with the ‘Cats. The mid-season Carolina League All-Star went 9-1, striking out 68 while walking just 17 batters in 102.2 innings pitched. He continued his success at the next level, going 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA in nine starts with Mississippi.
Ahmed and Schlosser will continue their 2012 seasons in the Arizona Fall League in October.